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Are you wanting to enroll your child or yourself as a pregnant mom in the C.E.F.S. Head Start 0-5 Program?

Click the button to get started!

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Make a donation to C.E.F.S. Head Start 0-5 Program

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What is Head Start?

Head Start is a federally-funded program which has been in existence since 1965 that promotes school preparation by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social, and other services. Head Start’s services and resources are designed to foster stable family relationships, enhance children’s physical and emotional well-being, and establish an environment to develop strong cognitive skills. The C.E.F.S. Head Start 0-5 Program provides comprehensive classroom and home-based services to pregnant women and children birth to age five including children with significant special needs. 

What services are provided to children?

  • Screenings to identify children’s hearing, vision, development, speech, and language concerns

  • Preschool classroom sessions four times per week (ages 3- 5) that focus on developing skills to prepare children for kindergarten

  • Healthy meals and snacks

  • Transportation assistance (including coordinating services with other schools/programs in addition to bus services as needed)

  • Weekly 90-minute educational home visits (infant through age 3) that involve both parent and child in hands-on learning

  • Bi-monthly playgroups for infants and toddlers

  • Field trip experiences for children of all ages 


What services are provided to pregnant women?

  • Prenatal curriculum, education, and support during pregnancy and for the preparation of the baby’s birth

  • Transportation assistance to/from prenatal appointments

  • Post-natal visit by a registered nurse

What services are provided to the entire family?

  • Parent involvement in the Head Start program’s planning and monitoring (i.e., Policy Council, Parent Committees, etc.)

  • Family literacy activities and lending library for children and adults

  • Social service referrals and support

  • Assistance with dental and health needs and transportation to appointments

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Where is Head Start located?

Preschool classrooms are located in Altamont, Effingham, Litchfield, Louisville, Pana, Shelbyville, Sullivan, Taylorville and Vandalia.

Home-based services for pregnant women, infants and toddlers are offered in Clay, Christian, Effingham, Fayette, Montgomery, Moultrie, and Shelby counties.  

Who is eligible for Head Start services?

Families who earn at or less than 100% of the federal poverty guidelines are income eligible to receive services. Families may also qualify under a categorical eligibility category (examples include receipt of TANF funds, supplemental security funds, or homelessness as per the McKinney-Vento Act). Up to 45% of the program’s enrollment can be from higher income families or families experiencing emergency situations. Head Start is required to provide services to children with disabilities who must comprise 10% of the total enrollment.

What does Head Start cost?

There are no entry fees for enrollment and no fees are charged for any services provided to children and families. 

How do families apply?

Applications for enrollment into the C.E.F.S. Head Start 0-5 Program are accepted throughout the calendar year.

What is In-kind or Non-Federal Share Match?

The C.E.F.S. Head Start 0-5 Program receives 80% of its funding from a federal grant. Head Start is required to have an in-kind match (non-federal share match) of 20% to maintain the received federal funding. This in-kind match comes from completed homework activities, donated items, and monetary donations.


How do I make an In-kind donation to the C.E.F.S. Head Start 0-5 Program?

Individuals, groups, and organizations wanting to support the C.E.F.S. Head Start 0-5 Program through in-kind donations can find monthly flyers posted on the program's Facebook page.

For more information:
Call Toll Free 1-866-442-1900 or text 217-663-7822.

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